2022 Midterm Primaries- August 13th (Hawaii)

Duke Ainoa

Duke’s father was a life insurance agent and his mother an elementary educator. Duke enjoyed growing up in the (then) rural community of Pearl City. With his neighborhood childhood friends, he enjoyed riding bicycles through the rich red dirt of the Leeward sugar cane fields. Little League games at Pacheco Park sparked Duke’s life-long passion for team sports. With his school friends from Honolulu, Duke excelled in sports, including basketball and football through Saint Louis High School (1973).

While attending University of the Pacific, in Stockton California, Duke played basketball while obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Pre-Law. Returning to Hawai’i in 1977, Duke attended the University of Hawaiʻi’s William S. Richardson School of Law, graduating in 1981 with his Doctor of Jurisprudence.

Stepping into the courtroom as a law clerk for the Honorable Wendell K. Huddy, Duke knew he wanted to serve the people of Hawaiʻi. Duke first served as a deputy prosecutor then as deputy corporation counsel overseeing litigation for the City and County of Honolulu.

The legal community recognized Duke’s strong leadership, work ethic, and balanced decision-making, and he was appointed as a Family Court judge in 1990. There, Duke was face-to-face with the families of Hawaiʻi. Families are challenged by drugs, illness, lack of support, and more. It is here that Duke realized how his decisions had a significant impact on the lives of people, an experience he describes as “humbling.” During his time as a Family Court judge, Duke was recognized for his fair and compassionate decision-making. Duke’s experience with “Real people, with real problems, who needed real solutions,” would continue to impact Duke throughout his career.

Gary Cordery

Since making Hawaiʻi home in 1982, Gary Cordery has steadfastly given his most valuable asset to others: his time. He has spent several years pastoring churches across the island, pouring into the keiki on the windward side in leading many youth groups and sports teams, and ministering to inmates at OCCC. He has counseled friends and neighbors, mentored and hired young men coming out of a local drug treatment center, as well as served on various non-profit boards of directors.

BJ Penn

BJ is a father, business owner, farmer, investor, neighbor, and most known for his incredible achievements as the first American Gold medalist of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and 2 x UFC World Champion. BJ's drive to live a life of purpose and passion is rooted in his upbringing and the values instilled in his ohana. His mom is a businesswoman and politician, and his father honorably served in the U.S. Navy.

Heidi Tsuneyoshi

Heidi currently serves on the Honolulu City Council for District 2 and worked as a staff member for the previous Councilmember for 8 years. She became the first native Hawaiian woman to serve on the city council and would be the first Native Woman governor the country has ever had. She has also worked in the Department of Education as a Behavioral Health Specialist providing support services to at-risk youth. She was also working in homeless and transitional shelters providing support services to families. She had the privilege of delivering a first-of-its-kind parenting class in the Women’s Community Correctional Center and was the Statewide Coordinator for a child abuse prevention program for the Department of Health.

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